Saturday, August 19, 2017

Pool Party and Sunday BBQ with Gubby

I've never enjoyed the Summer season too much (bugs, the sun, sweat, and more bugs, and some more bugs). It's the one season I find the least interesting. This year however I actually had an awesome Summer Sunday. All thanks to this tiny cutie pie - my Gubby darling. Her parents got her an inflatable pool and decided to get the grill out and set up a BBQ one fine Summer Sunday. Abbie and I cooked and added the fun touches. We ended up enjoying our hearts out!


Guess who enjoyed Gubby's pool the most with her? ME! Her dear Beeya. The moment she was stepping outside on the patio she turned around and said, "Beeya, come too!" and that's really all I needed to change into my casual shalwaar mode and hop right in with her. She loved having me there and I loved it even more splashing around with my baby. We splashed water on each other, on others, and even randomly in the grass around the pool. Thankfully it had rained and there were no bugs outside so we had no worries! Gubby and I sang songs, jumped around, tickled each other, and played with the many toys she had inside the pool. I think I hadn't had that kind of fun in quite a while then. It felt great! I picked Gubby up and let her do splash landings inside the water and then I made a swing out of my hands and let her splash around while swinging. Her face that evening was shining brighter than the season's sun! She was having the time of her life and so was I - her dear Beeya!
The fun wasn't over just yet though because guess who joined us in our pool fun? THE ABBIE! Yes, Abbie stepped outside and Gubby and I shouted, "Bua come too!" Next minute Abbie Bua was hopping inside the pool and the three of us were going absolutely crazy having fun. Abbie named our cutie pie the 'water monkey' because that's exactly what she looked like as she enjoyed the swings Bua and Beeya made for her. We created bubbles using some of the toys in the pool too. Gubby loved every bit of it! We played, laughed, sang, and had fun until it was dinner time!


Let's talk about the delicious menu! We had a really delicious dinner once we were done with the pool fun! Fresh off the BBQ grill were chicken tikkas, veggies, and shrimps (which I skip!) by bro. I made my super delicious Cajun Chicken and Veggies for the first time that day and seasoned some boiled rice to go with it all. Abbie fried some hot and yummy crinkle cut french fries and baked some super buttery and yumtastic corn! When we took the picture above we totally forgot to bring the corn outside (silly us!) so I snapped another one separately! This is what happens when you're having way too much fun, you basically just lose your mind! *laughs*
I can hear the sizzle right through this picture!

While bro finished the last batch of BBQ'd vegetables Gubby dear, who was tired and hungry from all the fun we'd had in the pool, sat like a princess and ate hot french fries from a cup. It was Abbie's genius idea to serve them in a cup. Not only did Gubby get super excited seeing the french fries she also loved that she'd got her own personal cup to hold. Such a cutie pie she is! God bless her!

The pool where hundreds of beautiful memories were made one Summer's Sunday afternoon. The tiny bird house on the right has been painted by Gubby herself at her Nani's house. It's the cutest little birdie house I've ever seen - even after the rain has smudged it a little bit!

My tiny little darling brightens up my life one adorable day at a time!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Wacky Finds Series ~ Volume 28

It's time for Volume 28 of The Wacky Finds Series!
These are a monthly series I started out of sheer awe of how crazy things around me are! Here's what this is about ... Ahem Ahem: When my awesome self steps out of my bed each morning I meet a world of crazies. People, things, phenomena, and acts of nature which are simply too unusual to miss and not record! The Wacky Finds Series will cover all the weird stuff that I find along my way; good weird, awkward weird, bad weird, I-totally-don't-get-this weird .. all kinds of weird shall be recorded and snapped without any discrimination!

Okay this is creepy and funny and wacky and disturbing. This is an eggplant from my SIL's vegetable garden and I swear it looks like an evil villain. We all had various interpretations the day she brought this one inside: a crow, a caped evil villain, a hijabi eggplant .. yaadee yaadee yaada. IT WAS EVIL, okay? It looked evil!

I found this shirt at the mall while I was window shopping. Isn't it super wacky? I loved the word 'emojional' so much I snapchatted it. What would life be without emojis, right?

BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Now don't I look absolutely beautiful? *laughs*

This one is my favorite picture! This is Gubby making a mustache with my hair! I was being an 'uncle' and we were playing when I made a mustache for myself with my hair. First she had a fit of laughter and then she said, "I want it too!" Five minutes later we were lying down on the floor, making fake mustaches, and taking selfies! Love my baby doll so much! *insert a million kisses here*

This absolutely silly looking something, I found at Dubai airport, earlier when I was traveling this year. To this day my baby niece watches this video, asks me what it is, and I say, "Well, I thought it was a pen but I'm not sure because I could never find it's writing tip!"

That's all folks! Until the next five Wacky Finds, have a wacky day!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Cajun Chicken & Veggies

When fresh Zucchini stared at me at our local grocery store I felt tempted to get cooking with it. Then my philosophy of 'when days aren't going your way, just add chicken' paired up with my need for Zucchini and it resulted in a seriously yummy dish. Cajun Chicken and Veggies, my friends, is a gift from me to you for it is oh so delicious! First, it is healthy because so many veggies and chicken, Second, it is simple as all you have to do is cook the chicken and veggies in tomatoes and spices until done. Third, you can adapt it to your mood and taste as you like by changing the veggies and the cheeses. Oh and did I already say it is extremely tasty?

These Cajun Chicken and Veggies are a juicy delight that are swimming in a rich Cajun flavor. You must eat these with a giant spoon because the taste in your mouth will be just too incredible. This is also a really pretty dish to look at because you get to witness thy royal highness - The Chicken - surrounded by pretty colorful veggies. It looks beautiful! I've just come up with this recipe and already served it in front of guests at a girly lunch hangout because of how visually appealing it was and the mind blowing reactions it produces from people. Trust me when I say this, this recipe will not disappoint!

Ingredients:
  • Boneless Chicken - About 5 breast pieces
  • Oil
  • Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp.
  • Cajun Seasoning - 1 1/2 tbsp. divided
  • Tomato Paste - 1 heaping cup (I used a can of tomato paste but puree and crushed are fine too)
  • Mixed Vegetables - see my little babble*
  • Salt - according to taste
  • Black Pepper Powder - according to taste
  • Cheese - I used, suggest, and swear by Parmesan and Mozzarella for this recipe

*My Little Babble: I tried to find out a perfect measure of how much veggies I used but when I cooked this recipe twice I realized I literally depended on my mood for the veggies. I wanted this to be equally loaded with veggies so that's what I did: I loaded it up with veggies! I used a blend of mixed veggies from Costco which included water chestnuts, carrots, snap peas, broccoli, squash, and mushrooms. I also added zucchinis, green bell peppers, yellow corn, and some crinkle cut carrots (because I think crinkle cut carrots are really pretty!). So you can basically do as you wish and use whatever veggies you like and however many too. If you take my suggestion though LOAD it up with veggies ... take my word for it!


Method:

Cut the chicken breast pieces into chunks. Heat oil in a pan and add ginger garlic paste to it. Cook for about a minute and then add the chicken, 1 tbsp. of Cajun seasoning, a heaping cup of the tomato paste, and a little bit of water (about a cup) for the chicken to cook in. Let it cook until the chicken changes color and turns white.

When the chicken changes color it is time to load up the veggies. I added all my veggies at this point except the green bell peppers because I had frozen ones which become a mush if you cook them for too long.

Add 1/2 tbsp. of the Cajun seasoning and mix well. Let the veggies fry with the chicken and the seasoning for about two to three minutes.

Next add water for the veggies to cook in. As I used frozen vegetables all of them left some water on their own too so add enough water for everything to be just submerged. Then cover with a lid and let everything cook, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.

When half of the water had reduced I added my frozen green bell peppers. This gave them enough time to cook together and absorb the seasoning but not become a total mush and disappear.

Keep cooking till oil leaves the sides of the pan and your veggies are fully cooked through.

Next add the Parmesan Cheese. I sprinkled a generous amount all over the Chicken and Veggies and then gave it a nice stir and let it simmer together.

Taste and adjust for salt and add black pepper according to taste.

Finally I added the shredded Mozzarella. Stir everything in, take it off the heat, cover the dish with a lid, and let the cheese melt and blend in with the chicken and the veggies. DELICIOUSNESS!

  
And you have the most delicious and super simple Cajun Chicken and Veggies ready! Juicy and extremely yummy!

See what I mean by finding crinkle cut carrots pretty? This dish is visually very appealing, like I said. It'll look beautiful no matter how you serve it!

You so want to pick up that piece of chicken right now, the one giving you the juicy looks! YUMMMM, I am drooling people!!! I need more of this in my life immediately! Cajun Chicken and Veggies can be served with anything! Eat it by large spoonfuls, take them with a side of boiled or seasoned rice, or even try with bread/roti. This will be just too delicious! Oh ... you're welcome! *winks*

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Dear Zindagi Movie Review

There are some movies you watch and find out they are a total flop. Then there are some you decide are a one-time kind of good entertainment. Then there are some that simply make you fall in love with them. Dear Zindagi is one such movie. Dear Zindagi made me fall in love; I fell in love with the characters, the story, the emotions, the everything. It is a beautiful movie, a soul pleasing one. It kept me glued to the screen till the very last scene and I actually watched it in one go (which is rare because life usually doesn't let me do that). It was a brilliant movie and one I'll recommend to anyone and everyone! Dear Zindagi is Kaira's story, a young woman who isn't entirely content with her life until she meets Jehangir Khan. 'Jug' is a free spirited, sorted psychologist with great pieces of advice to share. Jug helps Kaira see life through a new perspective and helps her come to terms with her biggest secret and main cause of mental distress.

I'm huge over emotions and this movie was overflowing with them. Moreover, Shahrukh Khan and Alia Bhatt's candid flawless acting made it all the more real. Emotions in this movie were bonafide to the extent that I was crying my eyes out throughout. There's the tear here and there kind of crying and there is a hysterical sort of crying. I was crying hysterically. The emotions were intense and real!

It is no surprise that Shahrukh Khan played 'Jug' or Jehangir Khan perfectly. You give SRK the role of the 'experienced' man and he'll pep talk his way right into your heart. I don't think anybody could have done a better job at playing a psychologist than him in this movie. Coming from him quotes automatically hit the heart, words directly felt like life lessons to cherish, and his persona made the character immensely believable. However, Shahrukh Khan playing a life-like character is rather expected because, well, because he's SRK but Alia Bhatt exceeded expectations here. She was phenomenal and the reason why I cried buckets full throughout the movie.

I'm not a really big fan of Alia Bhatt because I always feel like she does the same kind of roles: a rebel sort of a girl or a snobby one - basically like Poo from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. She'll be talking rudely or be super frank. This time too she was in a similar role and when the movie began I thought, "Oh no, again?" But then she proved me wrong. Sure, she plays the same kind of character here too, but she does it with impeccable perfection. She's played depression and anxiety so well that you'd forget you were watching a movie. I cried when she cried because oh dear (pun intended) her crying is so genuine. She makes Kaira very relatable - a character you can consider a friend and one you'd be shouting out suggestions to at your screen.


Her performance, in my opinion, was truly award winning. Usually Shahrukh Khan's acting acumen overpowers all characters in his movies but undoubtedly here Alia Bhatt stole the show. Please don't even ask me how terribly I was crying. I had to keep the lights in my room switched off even when it became dark because I was an emotional mess - the kind nobody should witness!


The movie has some great quotes, some spoken by popular people of wisdom and others delivered by Jug himself. There were life lessons conveyed which resonate in my thoughts even weeks after I've watched Dear Zindagi. The film, and Jug's character, convey a different perspective towards life - a positive, less complicated one. They teach you to take the simple route for solving the not-so-simple dilemmas of your life. I loved every other dialogue of this movie and while such motivational dialogues usually just sound motivational until shared as memes all over the internet, words spoken in this movie actually felt not only relatable but also realistic.


The chemistry SRK and Alia Bhatt displayed on screen was so awesome. I remember when they'd been promoting the movie I'd been thinking how odd they'd look together but they didn't. Their sessions together were actually fun to watch and very interesting.

I can actually see how some people may have not liked this movie because it's not the typical fast-paced SRK blockbuster like Kal Ho Naa Ho or Alia's super fun film like Student of the Year. I can even see those annoying know-it-all critics giving the movie some super complicated reviews about how it could have been better after consulting the thesaurus to add words that make their opinions sound super important. Truth is, this movie is very simple. It is a simple story which keeps unfolding slowly while you watch. If someone likes a good story full of emotions, just like me, they should do themselves a favor and watch Dear Zindagi regardless of what whoever wants to say about it. Personally, I loved the movie, the story, the characters, and the intense emotions and will recommend it to whoever asks me for a movie recommendation!

"Don't let the past blackmail your present into ruining a beautiful future ..."

Monday, August 7, 2017

Lots and Lots of Long Necklaces

For as long as I've been alive I've always preferred and loved long necklaces. When I was younger the shorter necklaces used to actually annoy me. Now it's cold on my neck, now it's warm, now it's not the correct length and won't show or will overlap the neck of my shirt. So annoying and hardly ever perfect. Long necklaces, on the other hand, are like finding freedom in the world of necklace wearing. Too much exaggeration? Okay I'll cut it a little. But hey, really now. Ever since I've met long necklaces I've never been worried. I'm not worried about how they feel against my skin or about them hiding away. I'm not even worried about them causing irritation on my skin (oh yes, I've dealt with that too). They're just so perfect and oh so pretty and so many different ones available wherever I go! Oh and as my final point let me just say this: Wear a hijab and you'll know how useless shorter necklaces are for you! There. Settled! So since I love them so much I recently got FIVE new ones and today I'm planning to show and tell!

The first one I'm showing off today is this beautiful necklace by Arizona Jean Co. This was an Eid gift from my brother, SIL, and Gubby dearest. It's really girly and super delicate and I love that beautiful studded butterfly. My favorite part though is the circular turquoise bit with studded details. That little detail in the middle just took my heart!

The second one is this beautiful red and silver one with the chain-like look. Abbie and I got matching ones. This one's a real classic! The red links are so beautiful and paired with a stunning silver it looks so cool!

A gold classic with lots of chains in a layered look! Yumm. So beautiful! Mama and Abbie got this one for me. This one is really classy and pairs so well with both formal and informal clothes. I can even wear this with my Desi outfits. The gold makes this formal and the chain-y look makes it informal. So perfect! Just so perfect!

A couple weeks ago I'd seen this beautiful brooch but because it was so small I hadn't bought it. It was shaped like leaves in the shades of gold, silver, and bronze. It had reminded me of Fall and I'd loved it, if only it was the right size. Then fast forward to when I spotted this necklace. It reminded me of the brooch I'd fallen in love with! This one is gold, silver, and bronze and looks metallic. Very awesome!

Last but not the least is this really pretty pink and gold necklace. Oh and let me say this please - I think this one is my favorite out of the five I'm showing off today! It's delicate and girly and has PINK and GOLD and that too together and oh my God I love it so so so much! There's even shades of orange and a weeeee bit of red in this one and I AM IN LOVE WITH IT! As soon as I got a chance to dress up and go out I immediately paired up an outfit that would let me wear this because I simply couldn't wait to put it on!

I'm so excited to get to wear the rest of these pretties soon too. They're all gorgeous! Oh and since my collection is growing now I need to find a proper way to store all of these! Time to head over to Pinterest and spend the next forty five hours!

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Crafty Files: I'll Weather the Storm (A Poem)

What are the Crafty Files?: The Crafty Files are my version of art journal - except I keep all my crafty creations organized in a beautiful binder instead of a journal. All of my creative works will be filed inside my super gorgeous file. Magazine graphics' collages, quotes, doodles, drawings - all kinds of creativity shall appear here!


"I'll Weather the Storm"

I'm surrounded by a sea of people,
Yet, I sail all alone.
The waves so fierce, the tides fatal,
My journey unknown.

My frail boat tries to fight it's way,
Unsure of where to go.
Often lost, defeated, and astray,
All hopes shattered and low.

Fragile, withered, and far from fine,
My boat sails the lonely seas.
Shabby, yet one of its kind,
Bruised by the softest breeze.

The waves may threaten my boat,
The clouds may storm upon my head.
I'll weather the storm, may I'll stay afloat,
And reach for the shores ahead.

- Sara Ali

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Saraallie's Tweet Logs ~ June & July 2017

The time has arrived again! Another month comes to an end which calls for posting my Tweet Logs! Ahem ahem: "The Tweet Logs are a concept I have totally cheated (I mean, it is supposed to be inspiration!) from Abbie's blog; perks of being a sister! My Tweet Logs will contain all my Twitter updates for each month. The updates will include tweets by me and those by Abbie which had me tagged or were related to me in some way. Why you ask? Well, my tweets are too awesome to go waste in cyber space thus they shall be recorded on my fabulous blog!














































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